I had been hearing about Raasta (in Hauz Khas Village) for quite a while but just couldn’t bring myself to head there because I had been warned that it would burn quite a hole in my pocket and I’d been trying to restrict myself to a budget. Finally, a recent Saturday afternoon intemperance got the better of me and I took the stairs to the first floor and decided to grab a table.

As you probably would have guessed, the theme of the café revolves around its name, ‘Raasta’ - think posters of Marley, extensive use of the green-yellow-red color palette, a laidback feel, and a focus on all things Caribbean. The most un-HKV-like thing about this lounge is that it is very roomy. Most of the seating here can easily accommodate 4+ people; it’s well spaced out, and there is ample comfortable seating in the smoking area. Seating comprises mostly low sofas and low tables, so if good posture/back support is your requirement for long evenings, then you have very limited options here.

Happy hours are on from noon to 9pm, which essentially means 1+1 on IMFL and select beers. They offer Hoegaarden and Stella on tap (pitcher INR 1200++, which I found to be very reasonable), an extensive range of whiskeys INR 250++ – INR 999++), and a decent selection of cocktails. Everything on the bar menu is fairly priced even outside of happy hours, with the exception of Jagerbombs. Be prepared to drop wads of cash along with them bombs!

The food menu has a Caribbean emphasis even in the name of the dishes. My friends and I tried the Plantain Frittos (raw banana chips with sour cream), which were crisped to perfection, the Barbados Platter that included the ‘grilled chicken wrappers’ worth fighting over, and the Chicken Gyros (average-ish). The service was efficient (it wasn’t really brimming on a warm Saturday afternoon), and we were well attended. I had read that the food here was sub-par; however, I had no complaints as such – perhaps the happy hours helped. The livening up of the place as evening rolled around added to my experience and I left this place a happy camper.

I hear the pasta is pretty good, and you’re better off making reservations on weekends if you plan on arriving during the fag end of the evening or later. Food mentioned above, and beers and shots for three heavy weights – INR 10k (approx.)

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